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The other day in a class I was teaching Perl for beginners, I was showing how to copy a file using File::Copy. At one point one of the students asked me (and actually this happens in every class) how could he find out the answer to this and similar questions without my help ?

I pointed to various resources, still they seemed not to be satisfied with the answer. So I asked on the Perl Trainers mailing list what others tell their students and asked a similar question on a beginner mailing list.

Here are the pointers I collected so far in two groups but in no particular order within the groups:

Local resources:
  • Serach the FAQ that comes with Perl: perldoc -q "SOME QUESTION"
    Specifically this did not have anything about on how to copy a file. While the FAQ is very good it is also constrained by the time of the good people who maintain it
  • Search in perldoc perlfunc
    obviously this did not have anything about file copy either and in general if there is no such function in Perl, then this is not useful
  • ActivePerl users (at least on Windows) have HTML version of the documentation
  • In his post Tad McClellan gave a nice step-by-step approach to solve the problem
On-line resources:

Still, I'd be interested in other ways, monks might use:

When you have a question such as "how to copy a file", what do you do to find a solutions ?
Do you prefer to use local resources or on-line resources ?
If you are coming from another programming languages, how would you look for an answer in that language ?

Looking back to my original question, interestingly I have not even thought about International Perl Resources, but that's another issue that might be addressed here.

In reply to Resources to get help in Perl by szabgab

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    [marto]: obviously someone could be religious, but not creationist
    [erix]: "Nothing in Intelligent Design makes sense except in the light of Creationism" <-- I made that one up myself (free after Dobzhansky )
    [erix]: yes. Deplorable marto, deplorable.
    [marto]: the situation seemed similar to this one, majority of the contributrions are nonsense, doesn't address any questions ...
    [marto]: meh, I've been called worse :P
    [marto]: deplorable is actually not bad for this point in the day :P
    [erix]: we aim to satisfy
    [erix]: churches are good excuses for large-scale architecture -- which is nice

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